Groundwater AllocationsIn the Mighty Peace watershed, the total volume of groundwater allocated in 2013 was 20,940,065 m3. There are no surface or groundwater allocations licensed in the Slave River watershed.
Groundwater allocations in the Mighty Peace watershed increased 10% from 2011 to 2013. Use is greatest in the Wabasca and Smoky/Wapiti sub-watersheds, which together account for more than 80% of groundwater allocations in the entire watershed.
REGULATORY SHIFTESRD is phasing out the use of freshwater for oil field injections at in situ oil sands operations in favour of saline groundwater. Allocation of saline groundwater is under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), while ESRD oversees fresh groundwater and surface water. It is still unclear exactly how AER intends to regulate the saline groundwater of the deeper aquifers.